Friday is here and we’ve all had
a week to digest Auburn’s loss at the hands of Clemson. Say what you will –
this young team showed promise against an offense that could possibly end up
being the most dynamic we’ll face all year. Let’s take a look at some key
aspects the Tigers will build on from last week:
- Tre Mason fumbled early and appeared to recover well.
I especially appreciated the coaching staff going right back to him the next
time the Auburn offense took the field. Young teams can be explosive, but their
confidence can be fragile.
- Kiehl Frazier had a good first-career start
considering that he’s a sophomore, the offense is new, the offensive line is young, and he didn’t make any news-worthy/headline-producing mistakes. He didn’t manage the game as
well late as he did early, but that is what you get with a young quarterback.
Frazier will take away a tremendous amount of knowledge from playing through
the SEC as a sophomore. He threw one interception that came at the best
possible time one could – all things considered – and he had one touchdown pass to Emory
Blake. Frazier would have had two
touchdown passes if it weren’t for Trovon Reed doing his best Julie Andrews
impersonation and running his route with Canadian Football League rules in
- The defense looked great at times and reminded
you of our defense of old at times, as well. Again, nothing to get too panicky
about yet. We held Clemson to two touchdowns. Two. I know they had dropped
passes that would have possibly led to more, but at the end of the day I think
our defensive unit as a whole did a wonderful job of keeping Auburn within
striking distance all night.
In week two of the college football season Auburn’s venue
will shed the chicken-sandwich-toting cows of the Chick-Fil-A bowl to the
cow-bell-toting Mississippi State faithful of Starkville, MS. Once again Auburn
will attempt to play spoiler to a MSU team poised to take the SEC West by
storm. At least, that is what many in the national media would lead one to
believe when examining the analysis of this game and its recent incarnations
from seasons’ past. Surely fans located outside of the SEC have
got to be perplexed as to how a state school from Mississippi would be
consistently tabbed to either beat Auburn annually and/or picked to finish ahead
of an Auburn team that has consistently beaten Mississippi State. You serious, Clark? Unfortunately, I am.
In 2011, Mississippi State entered their match-up with Auburn (in
Auburn) favored to win. This year Auburn travels to Starkville, once
again picked to lose. So there must be some good statistical reasons for our
Tigers constantly being underdogs to the other
Under Coach Mullen:
- MSU is 0-12 against the SEC West when you take
away their wins against Ole Miss.
- MSU is 2-12 against ranked opponents. Ten of
those games (TEN!) were home games.
- MSU has gone over the eight-win mark only once.
has consistently been out recruited by Auburn. Granted Auburn has had unusual numbers in attrition, we still maintain a talent advantage.
You serious Clark? Apparently so. It’s funny how this game will be portrayed as a game where Auburn has the opportunity to fail, but it’s disguised as a game where Mississippi State has the opportunity to rise up. We have nothing to gain from winning (the media will say, of course, we should have won) and everything to lose if we don’t come away with the victory. Gene Chizik’s image will be further cemented into that of a one-year-wonder; when in actuality, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Having said all of that, Auburn faces a tough challenge this Saturday in Starkville. MSU brings into this game a lot of experienced seniors and juniors who will be salivating at the chance to finally knock off Auburn and get their first SEC West win on someone other than the black bears. It won’t be easy.
The important thing to look for in this game is the team’s attitude. Youth is not a crutch that a highly talented group such as Auburn can lean on. Mississippi State will be dead-set on derailing Auburn’s 2012 season. The question is: Are we going to let them do it?
You serious Clark? These Auburn Tigers better be.
War Eagle! Beat Mississippi State!